Pomona, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Jack Beckman emerged unhurt after his car exploded near the finish line of his first-round qualifying run in search for his first NHRA Funny Car championship Thursday at Auto Club Raceway.
After a loud explosion was heard, the shell of Beckman’s Funny Car disintegrated and some parts of the body flew in different directions before he crossed the finish line.
Beckman immediately jumped out of his car after it came to a complete stop, avoiding possible injuries.
“Can anyone donate left eyebrow,” Beckman joked. “I need one now. I’ve never had that happen to me and I’m not signing up for that again.
“I went for the chutes, but the lever was gone with the rest of the body. I’m thinking, ‘OK, the body is gone, just don’t wreck car.’ But there was oil on my visor, so I couldn’t see where the wall was. Other than that, it was just a routine run.”
Despite the accident, Beckman posted the fifth-best qualifying pass in the opening of the Auto Club Finals, with the car crossing the line in 4.117 seconds at 273 mph.
Beckman’s Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps smoked the tires about half way down the track and didn’t make a pass in the top 12, failing to earn a spot in the opening round. Capps trails Beckman by four points.
Despite the accident, Beckman didn’t seem too concerned about the condition of his car.
“We do have a spare body,” Beckman said. “It has some battle scars on it, but it’s been good to us. I know Capps will give us a battle, but I think we’re still in good shape.”